When it comes to moving to a new place, it is a big deal not just for humans but also pets. There’s no denying that like you, they would also be leaving the familiarity of their home behind. If you have a cat, you must be well aware that cats are not usually keen on moving, especially if they have bonded with a particular place. They may cry, hide somewhere in your house or even get aggressive when you want to take them to a new place.
Just like you, your dear kitty also needs time to adjust with the fact that it has to move along with you. For that you will have to be really patient to ease your kitty’s anxiety and tantrums. But if you devote some time and effort in helping your cat adjust with this new normal, your move can definitely be stress free. So keep reading to find out how to move with cats and ensure both you and your four-legged friend can remain stress free.
How To Prepare Your Cat Before The Move?
The moving day will get even more stressful for you if your cat throws tantrums and scampers around the house trying to figure out what’s going on. There will be your moving truck, so many of your belongings in your boxes and so many new people on the big day – all of this might scare your cat or it might become aggressive. So to avoid all of this, you need to start preparing your cat a few days before the move. Here are all the things you can do to prepare your cat before the move:
Get your cat used to travelling in a car
There are so many ways wherein you can help your cat get comfortable or used to travelling by a car. You can start doing this a few months before your move. One of the reasons to take your cat for a ride can be a trip to the vet. So whenever you want to take your cat for a checkup or a vaccine, you can drive in a car and make it enjoyable. Other than that, you can take your cat for a drive on weekends to a friend’s place and help the cat befriend new people. All of this will help your cat get used to driving in a car and also meet new people. This will reduce the chances of your cat getting anxious or aggressive on your moving day when there will be so many people, and especially if you have to travel long distances with your cat.
Introduce a carrier to your cat
A carrier is a must if you want to move with your cat. Now, harnesses may not be that comfortable as compared to a carrier. On your moving day you will be taking care of so many things. Right from moving and loading your things in your truck to coordinating with your moving agents, everything is so stressful. If your cat just freely runs here and there and hops onto your moving boxes, they can get damaged. That’s why you’ll need your cat to be comfortable with a carrier.
We advise you to purchase a carrier with several openings made of plastic instead of a soft fabric that can easily get damaged due to scratches. So if at all your cat gets restless or aggressive, you can help your cat get inside the carrier and scratches won’t be an issue because of the plastic. You can keep your cat’s favorite toys and things in the carrier and let your cat play in it everyday so that it gets comfortable being inside it. Also if your cat has a blanket or toy that it loves, you can keep it in the carrier and let your cat play with it. This will help your cat get comfortable with the carrier. Another way of introducing the carrier to your cat is by keeping your cat’s favorite food inside it. Let your cat get used to eating there and its favorite food or meal can be a reinforcement to like the carrier and be comfortable in it.
Consult your vet
It’s always good to consult your vet especially if you’re planning to move with your cat. If at all your cat is showing signs of anxiety or aggression, you can ask your vet to help you deal with it. The vet may prescribe you certain medications or supplements to ease the stress levels in your cat. Also, you can ask your vet to prescribe a diet or a calming aid to help your cat especially for the move. Remember that the goal here is make your dear kitty as stress free and as comfortable as possible.
How To Take Care Of Your Cat While Moving?
Even if you’ve tried your best to help your cat get comfortable with a lot of things before your move, your moving day can still get stressful. You will need to be really patient and calm to be able to handle everything smoothly. All of this may affect your cat’s mood as well, so you have to also make sure that your little fur baby is taken care of while you’re moving. But don’t worry, we have listed down a few important things which will help you take care of your cat while you’re moving:
Make your moving boxes odor free
On your moving day, you will be accommodating your belongings in different moving boxes. Now these moving boxes can sometimes have a smell that your cat isn’t used to. Your cat may not like the smell of your boxes and it may attack and tear them. So in order to avoid this situation and protect both your cat and boxes, you can use some organic spray over the box. There are several sprays available in the market that will help reduce the stress and aggression in your cat. Feliway can be your best option as it is a calming pheromone spray that helps reduce anxiety in your cats.
Another way of helping your cat get used to moving boxes is by letting it play with them. You can keep aside a few moving boxes with your cat’s favorite toys hidden in the boxes. While you’re busy executing your move, you can ask a family member or a relative to watch over your cat while it’s trying to find the hidden toys in the boxes. This will reduce your cat’s intervention in your move and you can pack and load your things without wasting any time.
See Also: Guide To Best Cheap Moving Boxes
Keep your cat comfortable
The best thing you can do to avoid any harm to your belongings and your cat is by seeking help from your neighbors or friends. You can ask your friends to watch over your cat while you’re executing your move and taking care of loading all your belongings from your house to the moving truck. You can ask your neighbor to take care of your cat or empty a room in your house with your cat’s favorite toys, blanket, food and litter box. Make sure that you move all your important things from that room and keep it spacious for your cat to roam around and play. A helping hand from your friend, relative or neighbor will keep your cat contained and busy and you can be at ease and execute your move.
Try to follow a normal routine with your cat
Any slight change in your cat’s schedule may make it more anxious and it may throw tantrums on your moving. Although you’ll be terribly busy on your moving day, make sure that you at least check in with your cat especially during meals and play time. If your cat doesn’t see you at all, it may get stressed and really anxious, especially when it sees so many unfamiliar people and things around. So to help your cat adapt to the situation, try and stick to your normal routine with your cat as much as possible.
Follow a prescribed diet for your cat
Regardless of your move being local or long distance, it’s going to be difficult for your cat to be in one place. You will also have to take care of feeding your cat while you’re executing your move or while you’re already moving to your new home. That’s why we advise you to consult a vet beforehand and get a prescribed diet for your cat especially for a move. You can feed your cat a small light meal before you move. That will reduce any chances of a stomach ache or vomiting, especially if your cat has motion sickness.
Make room for a litter box in your carrier
You obviously don’t want your cat to litter anywhere in the carrier while you’re travelling to your new home. That’s why it’s best to keep a small litter box in your carrier. Make sure that your litter box is not just odor free but also low-dust and scoopable in order to make it easy for you to clean the mess. Do keep in mind that you also need pet bags in order to clean the mess especially when you’re travelling.
Keep your cat in a carrier
Before you hit the road to move to your new home, make sure that you keep your cat in a carrier. Your carrier should have a few of your cat’s favorite toys to keep it occupied. Now getting your cat inside the carrier can be really tedious especially if your cat is aggressive. You will need to have a calm mind and be very patient and careful to help your cat get inside the carrier. While you’re moving, you might feel tempted to open the carrier to get some fresh air. This is what increases the chances of your cat suddenly coming out because of being restrained in the carrier for too long. Housing your cat in a carrier also avoids any sudden attacks by your cat when it sees an unfamiliar place or person in your truck.
See Also: Guide for Moving with Pets
How To Prepare Your Cat After The Move?
Once you reach your new home, you need to take your cat in a closed room. Make sure that there are no expensive things like antiques, important documents or showpieces in case your cat is in a really bad mood. You don’t want anything to break the first day you’ve moved to your new home. In order to get your cat acquainted with your new home, you have to take care of the following things:
Keep dangerous things away
When you have moved to your new place, you may unload and unpack so many of your belongings together. Now there can be really dangerous things like cleaning supplies, chemicals, medicines or sharp things that can cause harm to your precious puss. So before you let your cat outside the carrier, make sure you keep all of these things away in a place where your kitty can’t find them. Even while your cat is still in the carrier, make sure that none of these dangerous things are anywhere near the paws of your little kitty.
Make a comfortable setting for your cat
A new place that is alien to your cat may cause it to react differently. It may suddenly pounce upon something or get really aggressive. So before you let your cat outside the carrier, you can create a comfortable setting for your cat. For example, you can keep a room aside with all of your cat’s favorite toys, food and water for your cat to get familiar with its favorite things. You can also fill the room with comforting scents like lavender or anything that your cat likes to help it be at ease. Open the carrier and let your cat out to explore its favorite things and pamper it with some tasty treats it loves.
Find a new litter box space
It will take some time for your cat to get adjusted with the new home. That’s why it’s good if you have two litter boxes, you can keep one inside the house and one outside. Let your cat explore the new home and settle in. You can keep a track of your cat and where it is comfortable and then fix a permanent litter box space.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does moving traumatize cats?
When the moving day arrives, your cat will be surrounded by so many unfamiliar faces. Plus the sight of so many things and trucks might scare your cat since cats are sensitive. But you can avoid all of this by taking care of the following things:
- Make your cat used to a carrier.
- Take your cat for rides on weekends so it gets used to driving in a car.
- Keep your cat in a comfortable place on your moving day. Ask a friend or neighbor to watch the cat and play with it.
- Make sure you don’t change your cat’s routine on your moving day. Try to feed and play your cat at the usual time.
- Consult your vet to know more about how you can ease your cat’s stress and anxiety during a move.
How long does it take for a cat to get used to a new home?
If you have trained your cat and not changed its routine, your cat will get used to your new home in two to three weeks. In some cases, it may even take one or two months for your cat to adjust with the new home. However, there are chances that it may take even more than two months, especially if your cat was too attached to your old house. In such cases, you can consult your vet and try to figure out ways to make your cat feel at ease and reduce its stress and anxiety.
Can cats get sick from moving?
Cats are extremely sensitive and so motion sickness can be a problem while moving. This can happen if your cat is stressed or anxious during your move. You can do the following things to help your cat from getting sick while moving:
- Before your move, feed your cat a light meal to avoid vomiting while you drive with your cat to your new home.
- Always get a prescribed diet from your vet well before your moving day.
- In order to reduce your cat’s stress and anxiety levels, you need to play with it and feed it on time and stick to its routine even on the moving day.
- Make sure that you have got your cat used to a carrier way before your moving day.
- Try to arrange for a small litter box in your carrier. Also include your cat’s favorite toys and blanket so that your cat is distracted while you’re moving to your new home.
It will probably take a few weeks or even a month for your dear kitty to get used to your new home. That’s why you need to follow your normal routine with your cat and let it explore. If at all you feel that your cat is stressed and anxious, you will need to consult a vet. Otherwise, your calm, kind and patient nature is what your kitty needs to adapt to the new setting and be happy in the new home.